Teresa of Avila

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Teresa of Avila (St. Teresa of Jesus). I’ve written about Teresa before, as she is one of my great favorites among the Christian mystics. There is so much that is wonderful in her writing that it is hard to pick one thing to share on this day. At the suggestion of my friend Gerry, here is the brief poem known as Teresa’s Bookmark, because it was found written on a card in her prayerbook after her death. In English it reads:

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

Such a simple statement, yet it means everything. God alone suffices.

[Update: My friend Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda reminded me that, in Spanish, the final line reads “solo Dios basta,” basta being “a word that conveys so much! Basta, enough, suffices, but also ‘it is all,’ as in meaning everything.” Thanks, Maria.

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